The World of Rumi
Parts 1 and 2
Rumi - The Wings of Love & Al-Mahya; Come to Life
Two Films by Shems Friedlander
Screened in several international film festivals, as well as the Musée de L'Homme in Paris, this film takes viewers into a secret world rarely seen by outsiders. Nearly eight centuries after his death, Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, Sufi master and mystical poet, is ever-present in the whirling ceremony of today's Mevlevi dervishes.
The Halveti zikr, Mevlevi semas, and the Gharib, or secret, sema-not seen for over 100 years-were filmed in Cairo, Istanbul, and the Garden of Rumi in Konya.
This unique footage set to Mevlevi music is enhanced by interviews with Sheikh Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din (Martin Lings), Islamic philosopher and author Seyyed Hossein Nasr, and Sheikh Omer Tugrel Inancer, who reveals the hidden meaning of the reed flute.
"In this time, when many tongues presume to speak for God, their god, this film speaks to a truth that is beyond the ability of our human words to describe; the gift of love, the indwelling of God within the soul."
-Godfrey Reggio Director, "Koyaanisqatsi."
"Seclusion from people will become inevitable for you, as will preference for retreat (khalwa) over human associations, for the extent of your distance from creation is the extent of your closeness to God-outwardly and inwardly."
Once a year in the middle of the month of Shabban "mureeds" of the Demerdache Khalwati Sufi Order in Cairo go into small cells and make a spiritual retreat which has been a tradition in this order for over five hundred years.
Shems Friedlander is the first person to be allowed to film this secret and sacred ceremony. During the "khalwa" the mureed prays, fasts (as in the month of Ramadan), is silent, remains in seclusion, invokes the Name of Allah, meditates, and maintains a state of ritual purity.
Rumi's World: A Talk with the Director